EGYPT


Quick Facts:

CAPITAL CITY: Cairo
POPULATION: 93,663,000 (2017)
CLIMATE: Hot, sunny and Mediterranean
LANGUAGE: Arabic, English, French
RELIGION: Islam, Coptic.
CURRENCY: Egyptian Pounds

TOURIST ARRIVALS: Tourist Arrivals in Egypt increased to 716 Thousand in April from 655 Thousand in March of 2017. Tourist Arrivals in Egypt averaged 472.82 Thousand from 1982 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 1486 Thousand in October of 2010 and a record low of 57 Thousand in February of 1991. https://tradingeconomics. com/egypt/tourist-arrivals

TOURISM CONTRIBUTION TO GDP
The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP in 2014 was EGP117.2bn (5.9% of GDP). This is forecast to rise by 3.2% to EGP120.9bn in 2015. This primarily reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services). As of 2015, Egypt received a total of 9,328,000US$ tourist arrivals, in comparison to 9,845,000 in 2011. 1 Egypt is one of Africa’s most sought-after destinations and the country is known as “where it all begins”. Known as the home of the great pharaohs, monuments in Egypt such as the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx were constructed by its ancient civilization. These ancient ruins are a significant and popular tourist attraction. The economy of Egypt is one of the most diversified in Africa and the Middle East, and tourism is one of the key sectors of the economy with a well-designed tourism master plan and strategy which guides the development of the sector. Tourism is Egypt’s second most important source of revenue and foreign exchange, after the Suez Canal. It contributed 12% of the GDP in 2010 and created work opportunities for the Egyptian labour force. Jobs in tourism are very lucrative compared to other jobs in the country and the tourism sector has great impact on the national economy. The Egypt Government has also adopted various initiatives: tourism promotion, branding and positioning of Egypt as a tourism hub; cultural promotion; and MICE tourism, to boost the tourism industry. 2 Major tourist destinations include the millennia-old monuments in the Nile Valley. Principal among them are the Pyramids and Great Sphinx at Giza, the Abu Simbel temples south of Aswan and the Karnak Temple Complex and Valley of the Kings near Luxor. Attractions in Cairo include the Cairo Museum and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha. The coast of the Sinai Peninsula has wellvisited seaside resorts.

BRIEF HISTORY
The history of Egypt has been long and rich, due to the flow of the Nile river, with its fertile banks and delta. Human settlement in Egypt dates back to at least 40,000 BC with Aterian tool manufacturing. Ancient Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh of the First Dynasty, Narmer. Predominately native Egyptian rule lasted until the conquest by the Achaemenid Empire in the sixth century BC. In 332 BC, Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered Egypt as he toppled the Achaemenids and established the Hellenistic Ptolemaic Kingdom, whose first ruler was one of Alexander’s former generals, Ptolemy I Soter. The Ptolemies had to fight native rebellions and were involved in foreign and civil wars that led to the decline of the kingdom and its final annexation by Rome. The death of Cleopatra ended the nominal independence of Egypt resulting in Egypt becoming one of the provinces of the Roman Empire. In 1517, Ottoman sultan Selim I captured Cairo, absorbing Egypt into the Ottoman Empire. Egypt remained entirely Ottoman until 1867, except during French occupation from 1798 to 1801. After the end of World War I and following the Egyptian revolution of 1919, the Kingdom of Egypt was established. While a de jure independent state, the United Kingdom retained control over foreign affairs, defense, and other matters. British occupation lasted until 1954, with the Anglo-Egyptian agreement of 1954. The modern Republic of Egypt was founded in 1953, and with the complete withdrawal of British forces from the Suez Canal in 1956, it marked the first time in 2300 years that Egypt was both fully independent and ruled by native Egyptians.

HERITAGE
Pyramids of Giza:
last surviving of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza are one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks. Built as tombs for the mighty Pharaohs and guarded by the enigmatic Sphinx, Giza’s pyramid complex has awed travelers down through the ages and had archaeologists (and a fair few conspiracy theorists) scratching their heads over how they were built for centuries. Today, these megalithic memorials to dead kings are still as wondrous a sight as they ever were. An undeniable highlight of any Egypt trip, Giza’s pyramids should not be missed.

Luxor’s Karnak Temple and the Valley:
of the Kings Famed for the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, and the Memorial Temple of Hatshepsut, the Nile-side town of Luxor in Upper Egypt has a glut of tourist attractions. This is ancient Thebes, powerbase of the New Kingdom pharaohs, and home to more sights than most can see on one visit. While the East Bank brims with vibrant souk action, the quieter West Bank is home to a bundle of tombs and temples that has been called the biggest open air museum in the world. Spend a few days here exploring the colorful wall art of the tombs and gazing in awe at the colossal columns in the temples, and you’ll see why Luxor continues to fascinate historians and archaeologists.

Abu Simbel:
These temples are one of the world’s most breathtaking monuments, and Egypt’s second most visited touristic site, the Pyramids of Giza being on the top of the list. The relocation of the temples was a historic event in the 1960’s. At that time, the temples were threatened by submersion in Lake Nasser when the High Dam was constructed. The Egyptian government with the support of UNESCO launched a world wide appeal to save these colossal landmarks. They were successfully dismantled and relocated to a spot 60 meters above the cliff where they had been initially built. The more famous of the two temples is dedicated to Ramses II and the smaller one to his favourite wife Nefertari.

Abu Mena (1979):
Abu Mena was a town, monastery complex and Christian pilgrimage center in Late Antique Egypt. It was built in remembrance of the martyr Menas of Alexandria, who died in 296 A.D. This archeological site is located about 45 km southwest of Alexandria.

Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis (1979):
Thebes, the city of the god Amon, was the capital of Egypt during the period of the Middle and New Kingdoms. With the temples and palaces at Karnak and Luxor, and the necropolises of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, Thebes is a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization at its height.